Late Season Geese

Late Season Geese

Late Season Geese

Every season it seems the goose hunting get better and the duck hunting gets worse in the state of Minnesota. Sort of a good news and bad news situation. Goose hunting for this writer has been a series of exploration and following the feeding flocks as they move from field to field. Lately the geese have been heading out to the fields earlier as the weather has worsened meaning they need to feed longer to cope with the colder conditions.

There are two keys to finding consistant goose hunting. Number one is scouting. You have to hit the road and find out where they are feeding. Late afternoon especially under cold conditions you can travel throughout the central part of the state and watch the fields they are feeding in. Now with the hunting pressure increasing, these birds will feed in a particular field for a short time before moving on.

Key #2 is finding the unturned crop fields that migrating geese prefer. Most everything has been turned to "black" but there are a small amount of fields that have been harvested but not completely disced over.

Late Season Geese

These are the fields that provide the late season food. Once again a hungry group of geese can clean out a crop field in short order especially if they are not pressured by hunters. That's why finding other field options is critical because success can be short-lived by overhunting one particular field.

The metro season continues well into December and if we get a good amount of snow things can really heat up as the geese will then resume morning and feeding periods and will be vulnerable to hunting right in the middle of the day as they travel to and from their chosen areas. Don't forget the snow camouflage

Foodsources for Late Season Bow

I recently just returned from another bust of a bowhunt in western Wisconsin. I sat along an alfalfa field that was holding a lot of deer thru September into November and couldn't figure out why the deer weren't moving to this field in the evenings the last time out. The next day I investigated the field and noticed that the deer had grazed the alfalfa down to almost nothing and the remaining crop was brown and dead. The best case for late alfalfa is when it is tall and falls over to form a protective shield over the remaining crop. Deer will use their hooves to scrap at the frozen ice on top of the crop to get at the base where the greenery is still viable. This WIsconsin field obviously wasn't drawing the deer because there wasn't anything left to eat. My mistake...time to move the stands!

This field change is a terrific example of how deer will totally revamp their travel and feeding patterns according to the food sources. This field at one time would support a ton of deer and now the whole herd as relocated to a new source.

I have talked about the wholesale "baiting" that has been going on in Wisconsin for quite some time. You can tell when the deer are pulled to bait during the early season as the baiters begin attracting deer for the start of the firearms season. You can also tell when they stop baiting after the gun season closes as the deer resume their natural patterns and are acting more like deer are supposed to. I have seen this disruption of deer patterns for many years and now it is rather predictable after years of this going on. Next time you are traveling on Hwy 8 or Hwy 70 going east into the state, just take a gander at the cabins and homes along the way and take notice at the 5 gallon drums and homemade "feeders" that you see behind the houses. Take note at all the "spotlights" you see mounted on trees just above the bait......this is subject to your interpretation.

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